In 1976, the University of Hawaii (UH) drilled Hawaii’s first geothermal well to produce steam. After an extensive geophysical survey in the lower Kilauea East Rift Zone, with a rotary rig, UH drilled the geothermal well the Hawaii Geothermal Project – Abbott (HGP-A). HPG-A operated just south of Puu Honuaula, the initial vent site of the 1955 eruption, in Puna, Big Island.
At 6,450 feet deep, HGP-A operated as one of the hottest geothermal wells in the world. HGP-A recorded a maximum temperature of 676°F (358°C) and a total mass flow of approximately 100,000 pounds per hour, with nearly equal amounts of both liquid and steam at a surface temperature of 365°F (186°C).
From July 1981 to 1989, a 2.8-megawatt electric plant used HGP-A’s energy to power the Hawaii Electric Light Company’s grid. The plant’s flowing pressure and steam fraction kept constant.
The UH units that ran HGP-A included the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, SOEST; and College of Engineering. The U.S. Department of Energy, and the state and county governments funded the plant.
In 2018, Kilauea’s lava buried the HGP-A site and the adjacent Puna Geothermal Venture power plant.
- Hawaii Geothermal Project : United States
The History and Significance of the Hawaii Geothermal Project
- Proceedings of the fourth annual geothermal conference and workshop
- Hawaii Geothermal Project: Quarterly Progress Report No. 2 (September 1 through November 30, 1973)
- Hawaii Geothermal Project : summary report for Phase I
- Requested Extension for NSF Grant No. GI-38319 : Hawaii Geothermal Project : Proposal for eight-month extension for Phase I
- Hawaii Geothermal Project – Phase II proposal to the National Science Foundation
- Hawaii Geothermal Project – Phase II revision to proposal AER7500285-000
- Hawaii Geothermal Project : Phase II Extension to Contract E(04-3)-1093 : Addendum to proposal submitted May 17, 1976
- The Hawaii Geothermal Project : Initial phase II progress report
- HGP-A operating figures for January 1988 through March 1989
- Hawaii Geothermal Project : overview of status, development approach and financial feasibility assessment
- Implementation plan for the Hawaii Geothermal Project : environmental impact statement
– Alice Kim, Digitization & Outreach Coordinator
Created Nov. 4, 2018